Hello to you in this bright, shiny new year, dear Readers!
Here I am to share news and reflections about books—the making and reading and reviewing of books.
Several of the posts I offered last year focused on the happiness surrounding the publication of individual poems, and many of those publications were of poems within my second collection, The Long Now Conditions Permit, which was a 2022 finalist for the Test Site Poetry Series. To learn where the poems appear or are forthcoming, visit my website’s Poet page and/or take a spin through last year’s posts: October 31, 2022; August 25, 2022; June 15, 2022; May 29, 2022; April 28, 2022; February 5, 2022.
In this first post of 2023, allow me to share with you two publications which closed out 2022, wrapping the year up with a lovely loveliness. First up, The Capilano Review 50th Anniversary three-volume glossary. My writing appears in volume three under S for Space.
Space & the Unworded within (My) Poems, my hybrid writing—part poem, part poetics essay, part treatise, part je ne sais quois—on how space is enacted within my poems appears in Issue 3.48 (Fall 2022) of The Capilano Review 50th Anniversary three-volume glossary. Below, the treatise’s opening pages.
Allow me to share a bit about how this writing came into being. In July 2020, I drafted a poem-a-day in community. A lifeline during the pandemic! As per my usual, many of those poems were showing up inhabiting the space of the page differently from the majority of other poems in a columnar form which hugged the left margin. About midway through, “space” came to the attention of someone else in the group and that poet inquired:
“I am wondering about spacing in the poetry. I see a lot of poems with seemingly arbitrary spacing. If the poet has a reason to use it, it often escapes me. But I see it a lot, so I think I’m missing some important points.”
Since as far as I could tell, I was the only one using the space of the page in the group, I took these questions as a sort of prompt and wrote the beginnings of a treatise on how I conceive of and the enact space on the page, which I offered to the community:
“Dear Companion Poetic Line-breakers & Space-makers,
I’ve made some notes and offer you a nut-graph of sorts on the thinking that arises regarding space, spacing, etc.”
Positive feedback for what I wrote encouraged me to develop the treatise, and to see if I could get it published. I had it in mind for a call at The Capilano Review. While those lovely editors did not think it was a fit for that call, they did think it was a fit for the three-volume experimental glossary that they were planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Capilano Review in 2022. My treatise was a non-brainer fit in the third volume under the letter S for space. I was thrilled! Still am! The writing of the treatise has been a gift and a teacher. It was sort of magical how it all came to be, and I’m grateful for that poet’s initial questions which got me space-travelling, and also to those who read the piece and offered encouragement. Questions and encouragement: a delicious recipe for my making and writing!
There is more! My poetics treatise was inspiration for the event: A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on the Poetics Essay, which the smart, thoughtful people at The Capilano Review organized to launch Issue 3.48 (Fall 2022).
Above, my typical thinking gesture in freeze-frame. To hear me read from my treatise on space and the entire November 17 roundtable, which includes the incomparable Nicole Brossard, along with Stephen Collis, Larissa Lai, Jami Macarty, and D.S. Marriott, go to The Capilano Review YouTube channel and look for A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on the Poetics Essay (or click on the title).
The last publication of 2022 was of my poem “The Fourth Leaf,” a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit, which appeared in Redivider 19.2. Visit the Redivider website to read the entire poem.
I have long-admired Redivider, so it was especially gratifying for me that the editors gave a home to one of my poems. And now, I include, and am included in, the Redivider community.
Community, expanding concentric outward circles was a theme for and a gift of 2022. I am grateful to my poems for connecting me anew to communities and editors who have supported my writing from early on, and also with new communities. All in all it was a terrifically exciting year for this poet!
Some 2022 Year-End Tallies:
Chances, Publications, and Rejections. As I shared above, twenty-three poems were accepted for publication. Add to that one poetics essay for twenty-four acceptances. Of those, sixteen poems and one essay were published in 2022. The additional seven poems are forthcoming this year—something to look forward to in 2023! I also await decisions on fifteen more chances to be accepted for publication that are still alive.
2022 was the best year ever for me/my writing on the publishing of individual poems front. How do I account for that? Simple. I sent my writing out for consideration more than I ever have before. I took about 130 chances to get published individual poems, a fourth chapbook, a second book, and to be awarded grants or residencies. Enough to receive 138 rejections, though some of those come from the chances I took in 2021. That is how! And, I joined a group of women writers who strive for 100 rejections in the year. They were my spur and support. The exercise was immunity building. Also, community building.
Book tallies. #mypersonalBigRead2022. Started in 2018, last year was my fifth year of reading how much I can read. How much did I read in 2022? 327 volumes, comprised of:
175: Full-length collections of poetry
51: Chapbooks (poetry & nonfiction)
69: Journals, Magazines (literary, etc.)
32: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir
Total = 327 individual volumes in 2022!
Last year, I concentrated on reading a many-year backlog of literary journals and magazines—some from the 1990s! Some of the older magazines were like time capsules, allowing me to gain perspective on how both certain magazines used to be as well as how poetry and fiction used to be. That was fun! I made many new-old discoveries, read some writers’ beginnings, and went down some rabbit holes. I learned a ton and plumped up my respect and appreciation for literary magazines, particularly Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Fence, and Vallum.
Onward to my sixth year of reading! I am 32 books into my #mypersonalBigRead2023. Below, the previous five years’ tallies of 1,512 books, so you can take a look:
Book tallies. Reviews. I offered reviews to 20 books in 2022. Mostly volumes of poetry inspired me to write something about my experience of reading them. Some full-length collections, some chapbooks, some hybrid books. I am particularly chuffed about the following reviews:
Why am I chuffed? I have the feeling of getting close to what I most wanted to say about these books in these longer-form reviews. You are most cordially invited to take a look. The links to all of the reviews I offered last year are available on this website; toggle to my site’s Poet page, where you will find the entire list of reviews.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!
+ Thank you bows to my community of women/women-identified writers for their generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.
+ Thank you bows to Editorial Director Matea Kulić, Literary Editor Deanna Fong, and Art Editor Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross at The Capilano Review for giving attention and page-space to my poetics treatise-essay “Space & the Unworded in (My) Poems” and for their continuous support of my writing.
+ Thank you bows to good people at Redivider for their support of my writing/making practice and for giving a home to “The Fourth Leaf.”
+ I bow to the existence of The Capilano Review and Redivider, where I find community.
+ I bow to the editors, who supported my reviews and the publications where they were published: Denise Hill at NewPages; Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross at The Capilano Review; Manahil Bandukwala at Canthius; James M. Fisher at The Miramachi Reader.
+ I bow to each and every author of each and every poem and story I read in 2022! Thank you for your company!
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.
+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making my chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.
+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making my chapbook Mind of Spring with me.
+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christen Kinkaid for making my chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.
+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!